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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Appoints Judge Max J. Kelch to the Supreme Court

Media Contacts:
Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Brittany Hardin, 308-660-9111


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LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced the appointment of Judge Max J. Kelch to the Nebraska Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District.  Currently, Judge Kelch serves as a District Court Judge for Cass, Sarpy, and Otoe Counties.

“Judge Kelch brings a blend of real world experience from years in private practice and working as a prosecutor as well as serving as a judge on the bench,” said Governor Ricketts.  “He has demonstrated he understands that the role of the court is to interpret the law, and this approach will continue to serve our state well as Nebraska’s next Supreme Court Judge.”  

Before his time on the District Court, Judge Kelch served as a County Judge for the Second Judicial District from 2005-2007.  Prior to his service on the bench, Kelch worked for two law firms, served as both a county attorney and deputy city attorney, and also functioned as a special prosecutor.

During his time on the District and County Courts, Judge Kelch heard cases covering criminal, civil, general equity, domestic relations, adoptions, small claims, and probate matters. 

Judge Kelch holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Over the past few years, Judge Kelch has served as a member of the Nebraska Judicial Ethics Committee as well as a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Committee.  In 2004, he was named Nebraska County Attorney of the Year.

The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge Michael McCormack.  This is Governor Ricketts’ second appointment to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

The Fourth Judicial District of the Supreme Court consists of portions of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. A map of the district can be found at